The Royals are clearly seeking power bats this winter. Not only did they deal closer Wade Davis for Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler, they also added minor league slugger Peter 0’Brien. Now rumors suggest they inquired about St. Louis first baseman Matt Adams.
A number of sites are reporting that the Kansas City Royals are interested in a trade with the Cardinals for Matt Adams. That list includes Leigh Olecszack at KC Kingdom, Max Rieper at Royals Review, and Mike Bates at MLB Daily Dish. All three have based their stories on a tweet from USA Today’s Bob Nightengale:
However, the way Nightengale phrases this message, it sounds like he assumes that the Peter O’Brien deal ended Kansas City’s interest in Adams. As the above articles point out, this assumption might not be true since Adams is a left-handed hitter while O’Brien bats from the opposite side of the plate. The KC Royals could want the pair to platoon at DH.
I suppose Kansas City Royals general manger Dayton Moore could entertain such a notion. But, that would load up his roster with a lot of defensively challenged 1B/DH types (though O’Brien can also kind of play in the outfield). I have a hard time seeing Moore making such a choice in a season where his manager might have to mix and match his relievers far more frequently than in the past.
Without the three-headed monster in the back end, manager Ned Yost might want to carry more relievers in order to play the match-up game.
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If the above tactic proves necessary during the season, then a DH platoon would make the KC Royals bench rather thin in case of injury. This problem would make such a choice difficult, but not impossible. O’Brien still has a minor league option remaining, so Kansas City could send him to Omaha in case they needed roster space due to injury.
For such a roster construction, however, Cheslor Cuthbert would need to be able to play second base (presuming Whit Merrifield wins the regular job at second). In case of injury, Yost could insert Cuthbert at second and move Merrifield wherever necessary since he can field any position except catcher. I assume Cuthbert would hold the utility job since he lacks further minor-league options.
That leaves Christian Colon looking at a release.
I have admit, a Matt Adams/Peter 0’Brien platoon would add power to the Royals lineup. Adams has hit a solid .284/.331/.480 with 46 home runs in 1,117 career at bats against right handed pitchers. He’s a much less impressive .212/.243/.352 against southpaws in his career. Adams has proved he can hit big league pitching, while O’Brien has only posted a measly .674 OPS in 74 major league at bats.
However, I just don’t see Moore using a DH platoon with a questionable bullpen.